Groundbreaking Golf Gear Of The Season

While the PGA Tour winds down this season and heads into the playoff events of the FedEx Cup here are some fun facts about this year’s season: (and it was a strange one at that) only the 2nd time all 4 winners of the majors were 1st time major winners. To boot it was Keegan Bradleys first attempt at any major when he won the PGA Championship also the first to win a major using the controversial long putter. Taking over was the domination of the rookies on Tour; there were 8 rookie winners on the PGA Tour this season the most ever since 1970 and 12 first time winners. Not only was the majors won by four different 1st time winners it was played with 4 different drivers, The Cleveland Launcher Ultralite TL310 (Keegan Bradley PGA Championship, TaylorMade R11 (Darren Clarke, The Open), Titleist 910D2 (Rory McIlroy, U.S. Open), and Nike VR Tour (Charl Schwartzel, Masters).

What this golf season will probably be most memorable for the world of golf clubs is TaylorMade’s white-headed driver, the R11. TaylorMade recently shipped their One Millionth White Metalwood. They even tracked the design, manufacturing, shipping and delivery of the club all on their Facebook and Twitter pages. TaylorMade even dressed up one of their top Tour professionals, Dustin Johnson in a FedEx uniform to deliver the one millionth white metalwood. What’s all the buzz with this club? While is does have a distinctive look it’s not just the all white non-glare club head that makes this driver special. The adjustability capabilities of the R11 were unprecedented before it’s release. With the ability to adjust not only the sole plate but also the moveable weights and adjustable hosel for a total of 48 possible settings.

The second biggest story was easily the rise of the long putters on Tour. While the long putter has been around for almost 30 years this is the first year it has ever been used to win a major. Not only did it help Keegan Bradley win the PGA Championship it was the putter of choice for PGA Tour winners for a consecutive 3 weeks. While the R11 dominated the driver market the Cleveland Mashie stirred up quiet the buzz on the hybrid market.

Cleveland golf made 2010 the year of the wedge and in 2011 they went a little retro. Bringing back the Cleveland Mashie hybrid they kept its retro-chic look but updated the technology used to drive the club. They finished the Mashie off with a RetroRaw finish giving it a rugged look but added Gliderail technology to make it a top performer in the market. Players and consumers were pleasantly surprised with the resurrection of the Mashie and the positive affects it leant to their game. It was most recently spotted in the winner’s bag of Keegan Bradley the 2011 PGA Championship winner.

While equipment usually focuses on golf clubs we also wanted to take a look at a groundbreaking golf glove maker that made headlines across the country. HIRZL golf gloves are top of line all weather golf gloves. We reviewed them here. While they do come with a higher price tag than a synthetic golf glove these authentic leather gloves are not only worth the money in quality but in performance as well. While the claim to have the ability to deliver 3x better grip in dry weather and 5x better grip in wet weather they truly are the all around best gloves for all weather.

Need to find the R11, Long Putter, Mashie, or HIRZl golf glove right now? We suggest taking a look at our favorite online golf retailer

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Cleveland Introduces More New Golf Clubs

Cleveland CG Black Driver from sales meeting

Cleveland golf also announced that they would be going back to black with their driver and irons. The black CG driver and irons were unveiled during their sales meeting that also happened simultaneously on Twitter and Facebook. The CG Black driver is going light this year at a staggering 265 grams, easily the lightest driver on the market today. The driver design features include a teardrop shaped head to help increase distance gains off the tee. For this club they partnered with Miyazaki shafts to create a limited C Kua shaft.

The CG black irons were designed with Cleveland engineers Deep Undercut technology, which positions the center of gravity lower and deeper in the clubhead to optimize launch angle, spin and playability. Also flaunting a Miyazaki ultralite shaft the C. Kua 59 graphite shafts will be available on the irons.

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New Forged 588 Wedges From Cleveland Golf

Almost 20 years ago Cleveland Golf created what is debatably one the best wedges designs in history. During their sales meeting Cleveland Golf announced that they would be resurrecting this club and bringing it back with vengeance. The new 588 wedges will be a forged updated version of the classic. Made from 1025 carbon steel for a soft yet solid feel. Of course Cleveland who last use “Year of The Wedge” as their theme will now be using “Forging A Better Future”. The wedges will come with Cleveland’s standard Tour Zip Grooves and a Laser Milled face. In a partnership with True Temper Cleveland created a special shaft for the 588 forged wedges. Said to have a unique stiffness with a less active tip, it’s a shaft that promotes piercing ball flight with better spin and distance control.

The 1st 588 wedge design has been a standard for Cleveland wedges over the decades and remains so today. With tour-proven wins it’s one of the best selling wedges of all time. Now coming back with new technology to grace another generation. Cleveland has been very good about updating fan favorites they recently re-launched one of their extremely successful hybrids, The Cleveland Mashie.

The new 588 forged wedge will come in 10 different lofts between 46-64 degrees with the option of a black pearl finish or high polish chrome. The release date of the 588 wedge is set for mid-Novemeber.

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Ping Putters

With the release of their groundbreaking app the iPING Ping has officially updated their Anser line to fit more types of strokes and style preferences. It has been almost 45 years since Ping first created the best putters on the market and now they move into their newest adventure allowing more types of putters for more skills. With the tagline “Fit for Stroke” they want to bring their customers the most fitted putter for their stroke. Which is of course where the iPing app also comes in handy, it can analyze your stroke and suggest what style of putter will most likely suit your preferences. Each model has subtle differentiators to make them distinct.

The mod­els are:  Anser Milled (Slight Arc), Anser Milled 1 (Slight Arc), Anser Milled 2 (Slight Arc), Anser Milled 3 (Slight Arc), Anser Milled 4 (Strong arc), Anser Milled 5 (Straight), Anser Milled 6 (Strong Arc).

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Adams Idea a12 Hybrid Spotted at the Barclays

Tour players have all the fun. They get first dibs at new equipment and are allowed to be the testers for all new gear from their sponsors. This week at The Barclays Adams showed up to Plainfield Country Club with a new hybrid for James Driscoll. The new club is a 17° Idea a12 Hybrid complete with a sole weight to lower the center of gravity. Adams easily is the most sought out manufacturer of hybrids in the market.  Unlike most hybrids this club features a channel in both the sole and the crown, much like Adams Speedline F11 and Speedline LP.

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How To Travel With Your Golf Clubs

Traveling with golf clubs can sometimes be a bit of a daunting task with airline regulations and fees it sometimes makes you just want to rent the club bags. For those of you who understand parting with your golf clubs is unimaginable here are the best ways to travel with your golf clubs.

The two most basic travel cases are hard cases or soft travel covers. Both are allowed by airline regulations it’s just a matter or cost and comfort which one is right for you. If you really can’t decide some companies even make a hybrid golf bag which has a hard cover on top for maximum club protection and soft cover on the bottom half for easy rolling.

A hard case bag is the most protective of your precious cargo. While nothing will get rattled by the airlines these hard cover cases are a bit cumbersome to lug around. A downside is fitting more than one of these into a standard car is near impossible. With a soft case your able to fold it up and take it out of the way once you have left the airport.

Soft cases are a great way to travel. The biggest point of purchase is to make sure it has enough padding and easy to roll with wheels. Also adding extra padding around your clubs is always a good idea.

Here are some of the best golf club travel covers I found online.

A few tips while traveling weight your bag before you leave to make sure its not over the airlines specified weight limit. If you happen to have extra room and weight to add throw in a few pairs of shoes or your liquids so you can check them through (makes traveling much easier). Make sure all your clubs have covers on them you don’t want them banging around.  If you don’t have all the covers for your clubs try socks it’s a great alternative.

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Golf’s Latest Putter Trend

First there was the domination of the white golf clubs now it seems to have taken a turn to the long putter. Dominating the Tour this August with consecutive wins by Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley and now Webb Simpson, the long putter seems to be a staple on the leaderboard. Even before their glory days of winning they were stirring up controversy. This is of course because with the extension of the club it allows the golfers to anchor the club on their body. While most purist golfers find this an abomination others just enjoy the feel and confidence this brings them. The belly putter is said to simplify the fundamentals of putting so those players who have inconsistencies and other issues will probably be the one’s making the switch to this latest fad.

The latest victim in the long putter takeover was this weekends victor at the Wyndham Championship, Webb Simpson. Simpson’s trusty putter is a PING Craz-E belly putter. While this may just having people talking about the new putter style there is no evidence that players are actively switching to the new putting style due to the August PGA Tour wins.

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Keegan Bradley’s Odyssey Long Putter: 2011 PGA Championship

As Keegan Bradley neared the end of the 2011 PGA Championship playoff with Jason Dufner, there were two facts that were becoming quiet clear 1) An American would finally win a major 2) The first player to use a long/belly putter would win a major championship on the PGA Tour.

Both of these facts came true as Bradley putted his Odyssey White Hot XG Sabertooth putter to victory. What makes Bradley’s putter different from most golfers on Tour (excluding Adam Scott and Robert Garrigus) is it’s length and how it’s used. Bradley’s putter is 46.75″ from the bottom of the club to the end of the grip, a standard putter is usually between 33 and 35 inches long. Using that extra length to anchor the club into his belly (thus the name “belly” putter) to stabilize the putter.

Of course Bradley’s win at a Major championship stirred up the debate whether or not belly/long putters should be allowed in professional tournaments. The idea of anchoring the grip of the club the belly is seen as an advantage by many. Nothing to get too worked up about though, according to Golf Digest this is not a very popular trend in the golf world with junior golfers.

Fun Facts From the Sandbox: This was the 10th PGA Tour win of the season for Odyssey putters. Odyssey had 40 putters in play this week which was 25.6% of the putters in play.

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Natural Motion Golf Shoes Trend

As Tiger announced his return to the golf world Nike also wanted to debut something of their own. With free motion technology at the heart of these new golf shoes they aren’t your grandfathers golf shoes.

Nike originally came out with the free running shoes in 2004 based on the idea of having a running shoes, that was extremely flexible and light.  Natural motion means that the shoe is designed to mimic and conform to the natural motion of the foot. The design replicates running in bare feet but provide some protection and traction. Tiger was personally a big fan of training with these and wanted to test out a prototype version of the Nike Free’s golf shoe. Detailed with his signature black and red colors the new shoe were inspired by Nike’s FREE technology. However, on the golf shoe of course they kept in mind a golfer still needs a good amount of protection and traction to be a high performance shoe. What they did for the golf shoe was allowed for more movement in the front of the foot to increase stability with mobility. This means that Tiger will has greater stability when he’s addressing the ball and the freedom to move naturally for more power. While rehabilitating his knee he’s also hoping these shoes will keep the natural motion in check and save him from any further injuries. 

Making their debut at the WCG-Bridestone Invitational event last week they didn’t help Tiger with his game, he ended up T37 but they looked darn good at least.

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Tour Edge Exotics Secret Weapon The CB4 Tour Driver

The Exotics line by Tour Edge has always had finesse to it, with golf equipment fans. One of their newest drivers was created for the accomplished player looking for a quality driver promised to give them better ball flight and workability. The CB 4 Tour driver is one of the longest, lowest spinning Exotics drivers ever created. Another benefit that these fast swingers will gain from the new design is the newly placed center of gravity that is closer to the clubface and higher towards the crown. A thinner and thicker clubface has been strategically placed in areas to create hot spots or what they call “boomerangs”. These areas were placed in positions where they would increase ball speeds and carry distance on off-center hits. With a deeper clubhead than the previous Exotics CB3 Tour, it creates less spin and better flight off shots.

With it’s classic Tour shape and deeper face it is exactly what a skilled golfer is looking for. All the tour-caliber design elements including low launch, more workability, and enhanced feel. Created with a titanium blend material in the clubhead, which is harder, denser and stronger than the standard driver.

For those equipment junkies the Tour model has all the bells and whistles. Equipped with an Aldila Rip Sigma 60 shaft and an exotics White New Decade Cord grip, they spared no expense to make this their best driver yet. With choices from 3 different lots 8, 9, and 10 degrees they all come with the standard 2-degree open face angle and a shaft length of 45.5 inches. Unfortunately for those lefties out there this club is only made in a right hand design.

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